ON OCT. 2, SHOWTIME TRIPLEHEADER TO FEATURE WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO, TWO WORLD TITLE FIGHTS; TSZYU-MITCHELL REMATCH SIGNED, SEALED AND HEADED TO U.S. ON NOV. 6
On the heels of the tremendous slugfest between Danny Williams and Mike Tyson on July 30, and Fight of the Year candidate Diego Corrales vs. Acelino Freitas on Aug. 7, SHOWTIME continues its amazing roll with a spectacular fall lineup for September, October and November.
Following a Sept. 4 world championship doubleheader featuring title defenses by World Boxing Organization (WBO) Heavyweight Champion Lamon Brewster and Undisputed Welterweight Champion Cory "The Next Generation'' Spinks, the network will feature a thrilling tripleheader on Oct. 2, from The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas which features the return to the ring of former World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko plus two more eagerly anticipated world title fights.
Making his first start since a shocking upset loss to Brewster earlier this year, the popular Klitschko (42-3, 39 KOs) will make his SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING debut when he meets North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Heavyweight Champion DaVarryl Williamson (20-2, 17 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
In the world title bouts on Oct. 2, Verno Phillips (38-9-1, 20 KOs) defends his IBF junior middleweight crown against No. 1 IBF contender Kassim Ouma (19-1-1, 13 KOs) in a highly anticipated rematch and undefeated IBF No. 4 contender Jeff Lacy (16-0, 13 KOs) gets his first shot at a world title and tries to become the first 2000 United States Olympian to capture a world title when he faces IBF No. 1 contender Syd Vanderpool (35-2, 23 KOs) for the vacant IBF super middleweight belt.
On Nov. 6 on SHOWTIME, two of the best pound-for-pound fighters meet in another likely candidate for fight of the year when IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Kostya Tszyu defends his title against Sharmba Mitchell. The long-awaited rematch will take place in the United States, from a site to be announced in the near future.
Tszyu (30-1, 24 KOs) scored a controversial seventh-round TKO over Mitchell (55-3, 30 KOs) on Feb. 3, 2001, on SHOWTIME. The fight was stopped when a knee injury forced Mitchell to retire after the seventh round. At the time of the stoppage, Tszyu was ahead on two of the scorecards, 68-65 and 68-64, and even on the other, 66-66.
"Kostya is 100 percent healthy again and thrilled and very excited about returning to the ring and fighting Sharmba Mitchell in the United States," Vlad Warton, Tszyu's promoter said. "Kostya has fans all over the world, but I know he is looking forward to fighting again in the U.S. This is an excellent opportunity for him to finish what he started against Mitchell 3½ years ago.''
Tszyu was supposed to defend against Mitchell on Feb. 7, 2004, on SHOWTIME, but the bout was postponed after "The Thunder Down Under" suffered a shoulder injury in training. This will be his first start since he retained his International Boxing Federation/World Boxing Association/World Boxing Council (IBF/WBA/WBC) 140-titles with a sixth-round TKO over Jesse James Leija on Jan. 19, 2003, in Melbourne, Australia, on SHOWTIME.
Mitchell has won eight consecutive bouts since the loss to Tszyu and is on his best roll ever.